While everyone in Emperor Akbar’s court failed to guess the Pundit’s mother tongue, Birbal was given a challenge to guess correctly.
Once, a famous Pundit came to Akbar’s Court. He knew many languages.
He challenged everybody in the Court that he could answer their questions in any language. No doubt he used to answer queries in whichever language he was asked. Nobody could guess his true mother tongue.
He once said to Emperor Akbar, “By tomorrow, your adviser’s should tell me which is my mother tongue and if they fail to do so, I will assume that I am better than all your advisers.”
Everyone in the court thought it would be an easy job and tried to judge his mother tongue. But everyone failed.
Then, Akbar turned to Birbal to solve this problem. Birbal accepted the challenge and asked for time till the next morning. Time was granted & the durbar (social gathering) was released.
The next morning, the court gathered, and the Pundit was also invited. The Pundit again started talking in different languages.
Finally, Birbal said that ‘TELUGU’ is the mother tongue of the Pundit. The Pundit was very surprised at Birbal's answer since Birbal was right. The Pundit accepted the defeat and left the court.
Akbar asked Birbal, how he found out the true mother tongue of the Pundit.
Birbal explained that he entered into Pundit's bedroom last night when the Pundit was fast asleep and tickled his ear with hay (dry grass).
The Pundit’s sleep was disturbed, he turned to the other side and slept. Again, Birbal tickled his other ear. The Pundit woke up and loudly said “Yevvurura Adi” (Who is that?) and seeing no one was there he went back to sleep. Birbal came out of the Pundit’s bedroom without anyone seeing him.
Birbal said that a man will talk in his true mother tongue whenever he is disturbed in his sleep.
Akbar praised Birbal for his timely wisdom.